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A deductible is an amount that you're responsible for in the event of a loss. This is the amount you pay out-of-pocket, and insurance covers the remainder.
When speaking with your agent to set up your policy, any valuables you are concerned about and our agent can review your policy and recommend changes to ensure your valuables have proper coverage.
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COBRA – The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – requires group health plans to offer continuation coverage to covered employees, former employees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children when group health coverage would otherwise be lost due to certain specific events. Those events include the death of a covered employee, termination or reduction in the hours of a covered employee’s employment for reasons other than gross misconduct, a covered employee’s becoming entitled to Medicare, divorce or legal separation of a covered employee and spouse, and a child’s loss of dependent status (and therefore coverage) under the plan. COBRA sets rules for how and when continuation coverage must be offered and provided, how employees and their families may elect continuation coverage, and what circumstances justify terminating continuation coverage. Employers may require individuals to pay for COBRA continuation coverage. The premium that is charged cannot exceed the full cost of the coverage, plus a 2 percent administration charge.
Employers may require individuals to pay for COBRA continuation coverage. The premium that is charged cannot exceed the full cost of the coverage, plus a 2 percent administration charge.
A group health plan is required to offer COBRA continuation coverage only to qualified beneficiaries and only after a qualifying event has occurred.
A qualified beneficiary is an individual who was covered by a group health plan on the day before a qualifying event occurred and who is an employee, the employee’s spouse or former spouse, or the employee’s dependent child. In certain cases involving the bankruptcy of the employer, a retired employee, the retired employee’s spouse (or former spouse), and the retired employee’s dependent children may be qualified beneficiaries. In addition, any child born to or placed for adoption with a covered employee during a period of continuation coverage is automatically considered a qualified beneficiary. An employer’s agents, independent contractors, and directors who participate in the group health plan may also be qualified beneficiaries.
“Qualifying events” are events that cause an individual to lose group health coverage. The type of qualifying event determines who the qualified beneficiaries are for that event and the period of time that a plan must offer continuation coverage. COBRA establishes only the minimum requirements for continuation coverage. A plan may always choose to provide longer periods of continuation coverage and may choose to contribute toward the cost of the coverage.
The following are qualifying events for a covered employee if they cause the covered employee to lose coverage:
The following are qualifying events for a spouse and dependent child of a covered employee if they cause the spouse or dependent child to lose coverage:
In addition to the above, the following is a qualifying event for a dependent child of a covered employee if it causes the child to lose coverage:
COBRA requires that continuation coverage extends from the date of the qualifying event for a limited period of time of 18 or 36 months. The length of time for which continuation coverage must be made available (the “maximum period” of continuation coverage) depends on the type of qualifying event that gave rise to the COBRA rights. A plan, however, may provide longer periods of coverage beyond the maximum period required by law.
When the qualifying event is the covered employee’s termination of employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct) or reduction in hours of work, qualified beneficiaries must be provided 18 months of continuation coverage.
When the qualifying event is the end of employment or reduction of the employee’s hours, and the employee became entitled to Medicare less than 18 months before the qualifying event, COBRA coverage for the employee’s spouse and dependents can last until 36 months after the date the employee becomes entitled to Medicare. For example, if a covered employee becomes entitled to Medicare 8 months before the date his/her employment ends (termination of employment is the COBRA qualifying event), COBRA coverage for his/her spouse and children would last 28 months (36 months minus 8 months).
For all other qualifying events, qualified beneficiaries must be provided 36 months of continuation coverage.
Whether you’re new to Medicare, getting ready to turn 65, or preparing to retire, you’ll need to make several important decisions about your health coverage. If you wait to enroll, you may have to pay a penalty, and you may have a gap in coverage.
Use these steps to gather information so you can make informed decisions about your Medicare:
Step 1: Learn about the different parts of Medicare
The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers certain doctor's services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.
Step 2: Find out when you can get Medicare
There are only certain times when people can enroll in Medicare. Depending on the situation, some people may get Medicare automatically, and others need to apply for Medicare. The first time you can enroll is called your Initial Enrollment Period. Your 7-month Initial Enrollment Period usually:
If you don’t enroll when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty, and you may have a gap in coverage if you decide you want Part B later.
Step 3: Decide if you want Part A & Part B
Most people should enroll in Part A when they turn 65, even if they have health insurance from an employer. This is because most people paid Medicare taxes while they worked so they don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A. Certain people may choose to delay Part B. In most cases, it depends on the type of health coverage you may have. Everyone pays a monthly premium for Part B. The premium varies depending on your income and when you enroll in Part B. Most people will pay the standard premium amount of $164.90 (in 2023).
It’s important to stay abreast of changes that happen from year-to-year with Medicare so that you can make informed decisions about the coverage that works for you during Open Enrollment, which begins in October every year.